Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Got Poked Today

Today at work I decided to go ahead and get poked in the arm to protect myself against H1N1. This was not a decision I made very quickly. I thought long and hard for a few weeks whether or not I would as I have always refused seasonal flu vaccines. There were a few reasons that made me take the plunge.

1) I have asthma and this flu hits your respitory system quite hard
2) I work in retail pharmacy and interact with persons with the flu all day long
3) I will be travelling in planes and to new countries in the next few months
4) I am in the at risk age group and gender type
5) I trust my pharmacy team and the information provided to me

So far my only reaction is really bad arm pain. It reminds me of the tetanus shot I had last year but it probably won't last 3 weeks like that one did. Ouch! Other than that I'm fine and once BF qualifies to get vaccinated he will be getting the shot as well. At that point I'll reconsider the seasonal flu vaccine as well as my boss will do us both at no charge.

BC has given pharmacists the option to become liscensed to give injections and two pharmacists at my store have have already been accreditted. Between my boss, his wife (at another store) and another pharmacist working at our store we have the only pharmacists currently doing injections mid island. I'm happy to see this service offered. They do charge a $10 injection fee for most injections though.

The H1N1 vaccine and Tamiflu are being covered by the government for everyone so there is no charge at all, but seasonal is $25 through a pharmacy. Tamiflu is the drug prescribed to treat the flu and we gone through a ton of stock the last two months. It really doesn't phase me anymore to take in prescriptions from people wearing masks. It's sadly very common right now.

Overall, I'm confident in my decision to get vaccinated. Have you been vaccinated yet, or plan to?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Strange Request

Yesterday when as we returned home from seeing a movie BF found a small letter addressed to him from an unrecognizable name. We came in and opened it right away. The letter stated the following: (names changed of course)

Dear BF,

Hi,

My name is Some Guy. My wife Domestic Goddess and I would like to $BUY$ your house at 123 Candy Lane. Please call us at....

Thanks, Some Guy

At first I was really creeped out by the letter. I mean who would want to buy a house without seeing the inside. Also, we don't own this house so how did the man even get BF's name.

I broke out my detective skills and googled our real address to find that BF's name is located as the top two search results from Canpages. Hmm. Then I googled the address the letter was sent from and discovered it was from a couple that live on an island close to us. Then I decided to google each of their names to discover they own a B&B and seem quite alright. Not so creepy afterall.

I felt better after my little investigation but now what should I do? We were planning to give notice for the end of January anyway as we plan to go to Australia but still. So do I email the proper owners contact info to the couple or contact my landlord and offer their info to him? They really should have contacted the city to find out who owns the house. That would have been the proper way to go about things.

Still, it's weird for them to suddenly want to buy this house without seeing it from inside. I mean, it is in need of some serious updates. BF and I have often joked that we would buy this property if we were guaranteed the house would burn down and we could rebuild on the land. The electrical, plumbing, layout, kitchen, bathrooms, mostly everything needs to be redone. Just call this place the Money Pit. Secretly though, I will miss this home and the garden we built in the backyard.

Also, the agent that works for our landlord is a real douche bag. The house was for sale before we began renting it 3 years ago but they took if off the martket for us. I don't want to have to deal with him again, or people running in and out of here for showings. I suppose it also feels a little bit invasive to me and that it makes moving from here definite. Maybe I'm just a wee bit nervous about our upcoming travels.

So should I pass on the info?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Saving on Prescriptions in BC

Being a Superstar Pharmacy Technician I have learned a few ways to help cut costs on your prescriptions over the years and I thought I would share my knowledge with y'all.

Make sure you are registered with BC Pharmacare. First and foremost for BC residents!!This in not MSP. This is BC's drug plan for the entire province. Registering is very easy. You can do it over the phone, fill out a paper application or even send it in online. You will be required to give up some tax info so that they can decide on your level of coverage. Everyone's coverage is individual and private. Some people will have a deductible they need to reach while others may get partial to full coverage right away on most medications. Note, not all medications are "benefits" of Pharmacare.

It is becoming a growing trend for private and work insurance companies to require you be registered with BC Pharmacare or face being cut off. Ugh, don't let that happen to you. I've seen it and it really sucks to have to pay up front for meds.

Always ask if you are able to get 3 months at a time. Make sure when you are at the doctors office to ask for him to write your script for bigger quantities at a time. When you get 3 months at a time instead of 1 you can save 2 dispensing fees. At my pharmacy the dispensing fee is $10.60 so that would be a total off $21.20 saved. I say three months because that is usually the max your insurance or Pharmacare will pay up to.

Ask your doctor for samples. I learned a long time ago that doctors have this wonderful area in their clinics called the sample closet which is packed full of meds. If you are using an expensive medication this can be very cost saving. I once had samples for a medication that otherwise cost $5 per capsule. BF got samples for a medication that would have cost us $60 by now. A few years ago my doctors office stocked my brand of birth control. Very nice! Sometimes certain drug companies supply a card for a free trial amount that can be redeemed at the pharmacy.

Go generic. Most medications are available in generic form and they are their brand named equal for a reduced cost. Even birth control has started coming out with generics over the last two years or so. You can usually switch to a generic at anytime by just asking at your pharmacy. Most insurance will pay for the generic cost only and you may have to pay the difference for brand.

What has your insurance done for you lately? I see girls all the time that pay for insurance that doesn't include birth control coverage. What is that? Many times its the only prescription they have. What a joke. Make sure your coverage works for you and your needs.

Find a pharmacy that works for you. If you are somebody who needs to have a good relation with your pharmacist or requires certain hours of availability or special services then you should choose your pharmacy accordingly. If you only get one or two prescriptions a year and don't need a lot of guidance from your pharmacist then choose one with a lesser dispensing fees. Not all dispensing fees are created equally but neither are pharmacies!

There are a few trade secrets for you! If I think of any others I will be sure to update you.


Inspired By Krystal

Christmas Thoughts

This year I will spend yet another Christmas alone in this little house. While I will still be joining my family for dinner and small gift exchange, BF will be in Quebec. The thought of joining him did entertain my thoughts it just isn't the right time to be spending extra money with the trip coming up. Also, it will be my last Christmas with my family for awhile.

Usually at Christmas everyone buys for the children and our parents and then there is a "secret" Santa draw between everyone. This never ends well. I don't know what it is about my family and holidays but it can be very trying. This year I announced that I opting out of the gift exchange. I still want to buy a little something for my niece, nephew and parents but everyone else will get baking or something. I'm thinking some of my delicious pumpkin loaf.

I feel this decision will result in less stress for everyone and hopefully will refocus the family on spending quality time together and sharing a home cooked meal beside a well dressed tree. I hope to get a nice family picture in too for my mothers sake.

I have already purchased a gift for my niece so I just really have to shop for my nephew and parents. I'm going to start keeping this in mind when I'm out and about shopping. I'll also make sure to keep my ears perked for ideas.

The best part about Christmas for me is getting to bring out the handmade ornaments from my grandparents to adorn the tree. That's what makes it truly special.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Most Thoughtful Gift

BF and I recently went through an entire week of bad luck. It started with our computer refusing to turn on (RIP old friend) one morning. That afternoon BF came to pick me up from work and on our way home our truck started blowing smoke everywhere and overheating. The next day he blew the tire on his bike on the way home from work in the rain. The following day I was in the shower when the biggest nose bleed of my life occured. I never have nose bleeds ever. On my way into my room after the shower I flipped on the light to have the bulb flash and die. The next day I almost threw my back out picking up the garbage can to take to the curb because there was a crack in the lid and it filled with water. Then I had to drain the water out off the back deck which stunk like rot because we had had turkey dinner 7 days before.

Nice, right?

The worst part... my computer was dead. I realized then how much I depend on my computer. I had planned 75% of my birthday on Facebook and now was 5 days away without being able to get online. I had to look things up using a phonebook. I couldn't read your blogs!!! All the wonderful goodies were gone.

Then I realized... my photos. Every picture I had taken in 10 years. People who have read my blog for awhile may remember that last year my grandfathers home burned down. Hundreds of family photos and mementos gone. My mothers things were stored there too so all of those pictures were gone too. Me being the photographer of the family had any pictures left of the last few years of family get togethers. Now I had lost my pictures. All the pictures of my Grandfather over the last year of his life. I was so depressed.

Two days before my big party night Nathaniel rang me up and told me he was going to ask his roommate to throw together a computer for me to use until my trip to Australia. I couldn't believe it. That would only be one day to put together a computer and I really didn't expect his housemate to go to so much last minute trouble for me.

To my delight Nathaniel arrived here on a ferry carring a tower for me. Stashed away in his stylish suitcase was another gift. An external harddrive. My friend had come to save the day and help me restore my most cherished possessions.

I had forgotten how many other things had accumulated over the last 9 years. My old business logos, my resume, all my documents and pictures. I had been planning to back up all of these things but procrastinated a week too long.

So a big shout out is due to Nathaniel for helping his computer illiterate friend bring her most personal items back to life and giving me the gift of amazing memories. He always asks me to write an updated post and this one is just for him, to recognize what an amazing friend I have.

Also, to Housemate. To take time out of your schedule to do such a big last minute project for a girl who you only see when she's crashing at your pad... you are my hero! Dinner is on me the next time I'm over. I cannot thank you enough for helping us to restore my files. It means a lot to both me and my family. I'll be sure to "pay it forward" in some way. Thanks again!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Is Anybody Out There?

Many times I've sat at this keyboard with nothing to say. Either that or I just had an overwhelming amount of things to say and ended up writing nothing. I really started to struggle with blogging and for awhile found it to be not very fun anymore. Thats when I decided to step away from my computer and focus on other parts of my life.

My summer was amazing. BF and I went on two big hikes. We learned how to play disc golf and started kite flying. I spent more time with family and friends. I updated our personal blog for all our friends and family who live away from us. I took a few french lessons and bought some books to help me learn the basics of the language.

October has been great. I had the best birthday of my entire life last Saturday which all my friends attended and we all had a great drunken time. I had my family over for Thanksgiving dinner. I visited my grandfathers memorial site today for his birthday. Soon it will be halloween, my favorite holiday of the year.

I'm sorry that I didn't update at all to let you guys know that I was okay and doing well but sometimes life happens and things slide. I still read your blogs and cherish my fellow bloggers support and advice. I'm going to start blogging again but I don't promise to update every day. Maybe once a week. I hope you'll still read from time to time.

Love Dolly

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Saving That Dough

Today I made a xfer of $350 to my trip savings. I also forgot to mention two weeks ago that I made another xfer of $250. My total savings for the trip is now at $6600. I really want to have at least $8000 before we go. Now BF is considering some additional travel plans. More on that later...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ticket Frenzy

I just got back from a morning full of ticket buying with my best friend R.

First we went to buy tickets to see the BC Lions Vs Montreal Alouettes in September. I already booked the day off work weeks ago. This is becoming an annual event for us. Last year we all went and the Lions won. BF was sad, lol :P For 2 tickets it cost me a total of $74. That includes the "convenience charge' of $7 for each ticket. Hmm

Then we went to buy tickets to a local foodie event that's taking place later on in September. I booked a half day off for that as well. The tickets were $10 each for BF and I. Once we get there we will have to buy food tickets to trade for samples and drinks. It should be a lot of fun. I wanted to go last year but they sold out so quickly. It's a great way to try a lot of different foods from local restaurants. I'm all for supporting the locals!

September is looking to be a great month as I also found a pamphlet that announces a big wine festival coming up in the Cowichan Valley. That sounds like a great weekend trip. I'll have to run that one by BF.

Come on September!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cell Phone Blues

Just over a month ago I dropped my cell phone and broke it. When I dropped it I really thought it would be alright because I've dropped it a million times without damage. Not this time...

It's really sad. I've had this phone for 4 or 5 years with the same battery. I love my phone. I can still dial out and people can still hear me but I can't hear them. Pretty lame. I've been slow at getting a new phone and now I've received my cell phone bill for a month that I didn't even get to use the phone during. Crap!

I had to decide whether to buy a new phone or just cut off service completely. Since BF and I are still unsure of the date we are leaving to Australia I don't really know how long I will need it for. I miss my phone :( I tried getting it put on a temporary suspension but Rogers was really stupid about it. They said they could put me on a temporary plan for $8/mo until I get a new phone but then I'd lose my current plan which is grandfathered and have to go with a contract. WTF>!>!

It's been really frustrating not having a phone because there are absolutely no payphones everywhere. I've been caught in many situations lately where I really wish I had my phone. Also, it keeps me entertained on my transit commuted every day.

So I picked out a basic phone that I can use until we leave. Finding it a good rate is the problem. I don't want to order it offline because it can take forever so I tried going to a Rogers dealer and he wanted to charge me $100 for a phone that is $69.99 on their website. I don't think so buddy! Today I got on the phone and called around to different stores that may carry Rogers phones and finally I found one that would sell me the phone for the same price as their site. Rogers video ... thank you. They have none in stock today but will be getting them in during the next few days. Woohoo!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Annual Family Camp Out

Tonight I'm headed out for three days of family togetherness. My family tries to get out for a few days of camping every year. Everyone comes out. Aunts, uncles and cousins. This year I hope to keep the memory of my Grandpa alive while we're camping as I know he wanted to go so badly this year.

This year I was in charge of pulling everyone together and finding enough room for all of us at the last minute. A tad bit stressful but I'm sure its all going to be worth it. There are a lot of activities happening all over Vancouver Island this weekend and we plan to hit some of them up.

Full details when I return!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

3 Days, 32K and Dolly Did Della

BF and I spent our August long weekend completing one of his personal goals, hiking Della falls.
This is a picture I took from the base of the falls.

Here is a picture a little farther away. There is a very stellar view point a few km away but with the heat and an unfortunate injury we didn't make it to Love Lake. Still, we enjoyed the trip and the falls were absolutely breath taking. BC Parks is no longer maintaining the trails though so it was a very rough trip. There was a lot of bushwhacking, climbing over fall trees, deep sink holes, boulders and such. There was even a point where a bridge was taken out by heavy snow fall so we had to cross through the river. It was extremely intense, especially because we have been experiencing a major heat wave on the coast. All in all Bf is happy and I'm glad to have shared in helping him meet a goal of his. Its experiences like this that bring us closer together and help solidify our relationship together.


I thought this picture was cute. These are our new hiking boots. BF purchased them at MEC a few weeks ago. Mine were a gift from him as a belated Christmas gift. He had originally promised me a Gortex jacket when I finally picked one out but decided on the boots instead.

The trip cost us $252 for the taxi boat to and from the trail entrance, $5 for moleskin, $20 for a new water bag for my pack, and I'm guessing $30 in dry food and snacks. BF paid for everything, I just had to endure the intense hike, lol.

I sure am glad I booked today off of work because I am one sore girl! :)

$250 Deposit to Australia Trip Fund

I realized today that I haven't posted any monthly goals in awhile. I seem to be getting things accomplished though. I'm filling my weekends with fun activities and trying new things. On the financial front I'm just trying to save as much as I can as fast as I can. It seems to be working out okay.

Today I added another $250 to my Australia Trip Fund. It was money I have leftover from my last pay cheque. I left $20 in my account to last me until I get paid again on Friday. I am now at 32% of my goal for that fund. Woohoo!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

$400 Deposit to Australia Trip Fund

Last week I hit my goal for my Aussi EFund but I still need to stash away some more dough for the actual trip. I set my goal for $3000. Today I managed to save $400 towards this goal bringing me to a total of $700 in that fund which is 23% of my goal.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Taking French Classes

For the last few years I've been considering French classes. BF is originally from Quebec and his entire family and all his friends are of course French speaking. The one time we went to visit was hard for me because a lot of the time I was very silent and could not communicate with anyone. I usually joke around a lot and everything I said was just lost on them. It was frustrating not being able to present myself the way I would like to and left me very frustrated.

I would really like to be able to talk to BF's mom and get to know everyone better. One day we plan to live in Quebec for a few years and I really think it would help me out if I started to learn it now.

The only classes I've seen listed are fairly expensive and week days at weird times. Today though it occurred to me that we have a Francophone Society here and that maybe they would have a suggestion. Turns out they have classes starting Sept 12 that are once a week for a few hours on Saturday. Perfect! Then I asked about fees and she told me its $85 for the 8 week program if I'm a member and $115 if I'm not. The membership fees for one year would be $15 for me and $10 for BF which is still $10 cheaper than paying the non member course fee.

Yay! I'm pretty happy to have found this course. I'm going to print out the forms and go down there next week after I talk it over with BF.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thinking about the Future

Right now my main focus is to prepare for this year long journey to Australia. After that I need to have some money saved for whatever comes next. We really don't know at this time where we'll be living but there are some general goals we have in mind that we can save for.

I have thought about some things I would like to achieve in the next five years and have decided to base my financial goals around that. I don't want to overwhelm myself though so I'll most likely be focusing on one goal at a time much like how I paid off my debt.

I am going to update my sidebars to include 7 financial goals:

Australia EFund - $5000 -This is already 100% funded. I'm hoping to use this money as a reserve only in Australia. I may dip into it to help fund the van we are planning to buy to live out of and travel in over the year. The money that is left over when we return will probably be allotted to a regular EFund.

Australia Trip Fund - $3000 - This money will pay for things before and during the trip. We plan to work throughout the trip as to not dip into our reserved money. This money will include paying for my plane ticket as well.

Future Funds

RRSP Fund - $20,000 - This number is based on the amount I am currently allowed to save based on my last tax assessment. I have not yet started saving towards my retirement which is horrible because I've known the importance of this since I was 14. Bad Dolly! I do plan to put some money in this fund before I go to cover any money that may be due this next year as my taxes will be done late obviously and I don't want to pay interest.

Education/Entrepreneurial Fund - $5000 - I don't want to be a pharmacy technician my whole life. I would really like to go back to school or start up my own business. When I was younger the only thing that held me back from both of these was lack of funds. I don't want to ever come across that problem again.

Future Home Fund - $10,000 - Ten thousand dollars is not a lot I know but BF will also be saving money towards the purchase of a home. I just want to have at least some money put away towards buying a home because its a big dream of mine. I hate paying rent and not having the freedom to make my home mine. We were able to plant a small garden here but I want a place where I can plant a huge garden and build a small green house. I find some of my favorite moments with BF are spent out enjoying the yard. Plus, when we get back we want a puppy!

Wedding Fund - $10,000 - If BF and I can survive a year traveling together in a tiny van we will know we are ready to get married. We differ on our ideas of a wedding. BF wants the big church wedding and I want the small destination wedding. Hmm... we have almost come to an agreement with an outdoor wedding, lol. Problem being my family is on one side of Canada and his the other. We'll work it out some way.

TFSA - $5000 - This number will change each year as I'm allowed to put more into it. Saving for the future is important to me and I want to save what I can to make sure BF and I are secure financially.

It is quite obvious that I'm not going to be able to save all this money in the next year. These are long term goals for me. In the next few months I plan to fully fund the Australia Trip Fund and put some cash into retirement savings before we leave.

Monday, July 13, 2009

$5000 Goal Reached!

I am ecstatic to announce the completion of my first savings goal! There was a time when I had a list of debts that I would cross off one at a time. Now I'm crossing off a list of goals to make my future secure. This is the first savings goal I have reached. I have never had $5000 in savings in my entire life and I could not be any prouder of myself.

Australia is one giant step closer!

Contemplation

Hello readers. Or rather any readers I still have left. I know I've been gone for some time now with no explanation but I really needed the time away.

On June 1st the most important person in my life passed away after a short battle with small cell carcinoma. My Grandfather was the most amazing person I ever knew and I don't know how I'll ever be able to get past that moment. I was fortunate to be there during his final hours and to say my peace at his service on June 20th. I'll never stop missing him.

The dividing of the estate showed some nasty qualities from members of my family. I tried to distance myself from the process and refocus my family on honoring his memory and spending time together. I have set up a family memorial camp weekend in August to celebrate his memory.

I dedicate this song to my Grandfather.

Losing someone so close to your own heart can really freeze you in your tracks and make you question a lot of things in your life. It's time to get myself back in order and make him proud.

Thank you for your support.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Why Me?

Self pity post coming up here!

Yesterday I check my PO Box to find a letter from the government stating I owe $234.50 back immediately. I am so pissed. When I filed my taxes this year with an accountant I asked about all of this sort of stuff because BF and I were filing together for the first year. ARGH!!! Now I have to provide BF's 2007 net income to them so they can decide whether they are charging me. I tried calling the provided toll free number but a message stated to call another day as their call queue was severly backed up. Oh, great! So I can't even talk to anyone. I called the accountant but they have moved to their regular office hours and address. I had to leave a message as there won't be anyone there until next Tuesday.

Dealing with this reminded me that I still haven't heard back from the EI department yet. It's been over 4 months. So today when I called I told them they need to get started on this as I am leaving the country in 5 months with no date of return as of yet and I don't need any surprises right before I leave or while I'm away. She promised to send it for processing on Monday and that she would attach a note regarding me leaving. I expressed my concern as to not knowing why this was all happening and I was worried they would want me to pay back all of my EI over some calculation problem. She guaranteed me she had looked it over and if anything they would owe me money. I found that a tiny bit relieving but who knows whats true when dealing with the government.

Then I checked my payroll deposit and it appears my cheque was a lot less then I thought. $200 less. There was big issues with my last cheque and so I'm not sure if that whats affected this cheque or not. I'll have to review my stub and talk to payroll. Work has still not fixed the problems they gave me with MSP or Pharmacare yet either.

It really makes me mad that I am so careful with all of my paperwork and keep on top of everything and still this shit happens. It's out of my control but still. I really don't need the stress right now. I am also the type to want results like right frucking now and with the government.... yeah right.

Why does the government hate me?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

6 months of degrading comments. 6 months of fighting and tension. 6 months of dealing with the bullshit of one person interrupting 8 other peoples happiness. It's over.

So I last told you about me walking out of work in a blind rage on Wednesday. Well Thursday was tense but ok until my boss left for the day. Then bitchy tech turned all crazy again and kept making snide comments at me. I held my own and dreamed of Australia until her shift was over.

Friday morning I got a little one on one time with my boss while we were filling scripts together. I announced I wanted to make a few comments but not get into the nitty gritty. I laid it all out on the line. I told my boss exactly how I feel and how this drama has been affecting me. We had a good talk and I let him in on some of the stuff I'd been holding back on saying (I hate bitching at the boss).

I don't know what I said that stuck with him but something clicked. Before going for break head tech told me that our boss had just told her to prepare to be short one for the evening as he was sending bitchy tech home for the day and for the next week. :D I was pretty happy to not have to see her face for 9 days.

Something happened in that meeting. He pulled her into his office while I was on lunch and I'm guessing some words were exchanged because when I came back bitchy tech was gone and her drawer was empty. Later on we learned bitchy tech was "no longer with us".

Can you believe it!?!?!?!

This week has been so calm and peaceful. Even with the extra work load. I was sent home Tuesday because I couldn't stop barfing. Must have been stress. Besides that things have been good. I'm so relieved to not have that evil ball of nastiness floating around the pharmacy anymore. We are having so much fun now and getting a lot more done.

82% Freedom in Focus

I received a cheque on Monday for working the election polls on May 12th! $270 smackers to be exact. I deposited it right away but just remembered to set up the xfer today to ING.

This month I have saved $1370 towards the Aussi fund. I'm so excited! Once I hit my goal I'll be applying for my visa. My goal is to save $1500 this month but I'm secretly trying to save $1800. I'm trying really hard so that I'll only have to save $500 next month and then move onto my next PF goal.

Currently I sit at 82% of my goal.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dreading Today

Things at work have gotten out of control. I had to walk out yesterday after only being there for an hour and 45 minutes. Bitchy tech is out of control and my boss still hasn't done anything about it.

How would any of you like to work with a person like this?: She fights with everyone, nothing can be simple, everything is a fight. She talks down to everyone. She comes in late and takes long unauthorized breaks when we are busy. She randomly disappears. She accomplishes nothing on a daily basis. She takes credit for other peoples work. She has random psychotic episodes which include crying and storming out while saying she's never coming back and then returns the next day like nothing happened. She said to my face that she finds my work unsatisfactory and took it upon herself to talk to our boss about it. This is a small list of things she regularly does.

Our pharmacy now has a very bad reputation because of this person. People have quit and are leaving. We have now been nicknamed the "dramacy" instead of pharmacy. We can't get relief pharmacists that we need, we can't get new pharmacists like we need. Everyone is aware of this one person and nobody wants to be stuck working with them in a hostile environment.

Tuesday I came to work after a great long weekend and everyone was smiling and giving high fives. There was a note that had been posted on my bosses door stating that bitchy tech was going on stress leave immediately until the end of October (when I leave). It was from her psychiatrist. I was relieved. Nervous about the extra responsibility but willing to take it on to not have to deal with her on a regular basis. Immediately all of our schedules had to be changed to work things out on such short notice. Our two fill in techs were offered more shifts and we had a game plan ready.

Wednesday I come to work and bitchy tech is there. WTF?!?! All my boss will tell me is that he has told her she has to explain to each person individually by the end of the day. I'm SO PISSED off I can't even tell you people. So I try to approach her but she blows me off and is totally rude to me as usual. So I go to blisterland (my nickname for the blister area) to get some work done and she is everywhere, all in my way. (this is typical, she will fight with you and then be all up in your personal space). She even tried to come back and push some work off at me but I tossed it back and her and told her to do it herself.

An hour later she comes back and almost starts yelling at me. The first thing she says is "So I guess I'm going to apologize for what was supposed to obviously be a joke that you guys didn't get". A joke?

So I asked her "Why the hell if it was a joke left for us to find Tuesday morning did you not call later that morning and say Hey, did you get my joke"? I told her how it affected all of us immediately with scheduling, people thinking they were going to be getting more hours etc. Then I said " I'm really tired of the Bitchy Tech Show, you really need to show more consideration for your fellow team members".

She retorted if anything that we should be the ones showing her more respect. Then Dolly lost it. Voices got raised and it was on like donkey kong. She started getting really close to me. Like a foot and a half away. I was so mad I was literally shaking and starting to tear up. I told her to back out of my personal space and walk away because I had lost it. She kept getting closer so I told her to back away right fucking now because I was going to lose it. (this is not the first time
this has happened)

My boss came running back there and demanded we go into his office and hash it out. I refused. I told him I was sick of the work day being interrupted all the time to deal with her shit. I told him I'm stressed out and drugged on Prevacid cuz I have to deal with her every fucking day and I'm sick of it. I'm tired of her talking to me like I'm a piece of shit, and then taking credit for my work.

He insisted the two of us (me and bitchy tech) go talk. Then she turned all super nice and looking like she was shocked that I was upset. She started in with this sugar sweet voice saying she wanted to work things out. I said "fuck no, get away from me".

I grabbed my jacket and announced to my boss I was going outside for ten minutes. I sat outside and I weighed my options. If I was to quit it would seriously affect my ability to save as much as I currently am for the trip. If I stay I may stab coworker in her crazy head. Hmm... FML.

I headed back in but as soon as I saw her I started shaking visibly so I decided it was time to call it a day. I motioned for my boss and told him I was taking the rest of the day off to cool down and would return the next day. I told him I refuse to be attacked at work by her and that I should not be expected to endure that and then continue the rest of my shift.

I called my mom to vent and cry to as I was on the bus, with strangers looking at me like I was some sort of nut ball. She told me she was on her way to see my Grandpa in the hospital. I didn't even know he had gone back in a few days before. The news wasn't good. They are discontinuing treatment and he is going home in a few days. I let all of my hostility go and told him jokes and sent him big vibes of love. We spent a few hours there, I vented a bit to my family in the hall and they gave me a ton of support.

How can I not be stressed? All I want to do is go to work, do a good job and then go home and live my life.

I DO NOT want to go to work today.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Purchasing A Van



BF and I have discussed many times that we may want to purchase a van in Australia to live in. It would serve as our portable home for the year. Our own little slice of familiarity as we travel about. Well lately BF has been looking a lot more online at vans that are currently for sale to get an idea of price and narrow down what we are looking for.

For me it was all about the layout of the van. I was attracted to the pop roof and the idea of not having to be hunched over all the time. I would be happy with something like this. I want to be able to feel cozy and not claustrophobic. I want to be able to have all of our things neatly organized.

BF on the other hand has a whole different variety of needs. His mostly have to do with what's under the hood. I have no idea what those things are so I let him decide whats good in that area.

I'm sure we'll find something good once we get there. I need to start savings up for the van now too. BF has a budget in mind but we're still in investigation mode. The best part about the van is we can recoup some money before we come back. As long as its running well and we have a buyer. :) I think its an important investment for us for this trip.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

76% There

This morning I made another xfer from my chequing account to my Aussi fund. I should have done this before the crazy drunken long weekend of camping. *sigh I managed to scrap up $350 to put towards the goal so now I just need to save another $400 to reach my goal of $1500 this month.

I worked the elections but apparently they send you the cheque in the mail and it can take a few weeks so if I get the money before the end of the month then great but if I don't I can put it towards savings next month. I am confident I can save the last $400 I need this month from my next cheque on the 29th.

MIA

Dolly has been declared MIA. There's been a lot happening the last few weeks. I didn't intend to take a break from blogging, it just sort of happened. I had a lot of those moments where you sit down to blog, have too much to say and just read all of your blogs instead.

Two weeks ago I returned from Penticton. The first day back at work I became seriously ill. I asked my mom to take me to a walk in because BF was away for work. I thought I had the flu but apparently not. It didn't take the doctor long to realize it was stress that was killing my stomach. I should have seen the signs but I didn't. This happened to me 5 years ago when I worked in a stressful environment. My tummy can't take it so he gave me a script for Prevacid. Ah, good old tummy meds.

Since then I've been taking it easy. I went back to work a day later and have been trying to not let the drama there bother me. Instead I've been taking full advantage of the time I'm not at work. I've been spending a lot of time with friends and family. Trying to keep myself focused on the good and happy things going on around me.

I missed you all!

Monday, May 11, 2009

PF Goal Update

I decided to get rid of the secured credit card sub account with ING and xfered the $100 to my 2009 EFund account. I now have 10% of my goal saved. This will become a priority after the Australia funds are fully stocked.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

69% Reached!!!

I got my tax refund in the mail yesterday at work. I put over half into the Australia savings which means I'm now at 69% of my goal with $3457! The rest of the refund will go toward bills and such. So far this month I have managed to sock away $750. Yay for May!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

64% Reached

I forgot that I got paid today until just now. I xfered $500 immediately to my ING savings fund. The Australia fund is now at 64 % of the goal which is $3,200!

May TCOB

Hello May! I've been waiting for you.

I think May will be a great month. In May I hope to accomplish some really important tasks both financially and personally.

1) Save $1500 to Austraila Fund. I can't believe even believe that I can write that but I'm really going to go for it this month. In May I have three pay days, I will work the elections and I will get a tax return back. I would like to save $1800 which would bring me to total of $4500 and is 90% of my goal but I'm unsure of how my vacation pay will effect me so I'll stick with $1500. If I do reach $1800 I would be able to save the last $500 in June and apply for my visa a month before I expected to. :) It will be a tight squeeze though. We'll see...

2) Bring a Lunch to Work 3 Days a Week.

3) Have Entire Upper Floor of House Organized. I'm getting closer on this one. I think this goal should be attainable if I use my time at home wisely to get things done. There is a lot of paperwork that needs to be sorted through, clothes that need to go to charity and a lot of my jewellry making supplies. I need to start purging for the trip.

4) Get Price Estimates for Storage Unit. We will be getting rid of a lot of stuff. If its not collapsible or irreplaceable its going. Some stuff though we do want to hold on to and so we need to be getting some prices on what storage units are worth these days. BF has some larger items like a kayak, motorcycle and truck. He'll need to get a realistic idea on the cost of keeping these items in storage for a year before he makes any decisions. The only thing I really want to keep in our new bed frame which is collapsible.

5) Visit a Dear Friend on the Mainland. My friend Nathaniel often comes to the Island for visits. I try to visit him as well because I love spending time with him but I always find it hard to get a totally free weekend to head over to Vancouver. No more excuses, I am setting aside time just to go see him this month!

6) Work the Election Polls on May 12th! Yay, this makes me very happy. Not just because of the extra dough but because I feel like I'm contributing to the process.

7) Plant Garden - We've hit the right time to xfer all of our babies outside. We've also got to get the other seeds planted for things such as radishes and corn. Mmm, I can't wait until harvest time.

8) Investigate RSP Option at Work - I need to find out whether I qualify for a match contribution or not. Every time I ask I get a different answer. I'm ready now to fill out the paperwork and get started. Might as well get what I can before I leave.



I've decided to reward myself when I complete all my goals for the month. This month the reward will be this:


It came highly recommended by a friend who did this same type of trip a year ago. She swears by it and it has great reviews. I think it would be well worth the investment so thats why I chose it for my goal reward.

April TCOB Review

  • Have Niece Over For Sleep Over Party With Lots Of Fun Activities - DONE

I had a great time with my niece. We did some really fun Easter related activities like decorating an easter basket and a little gingerbread bunny hut. We also took her to see that new movie Monsters vs Aliens which was in 3D - super fun!
  • Save $700 Towards Australia Fund - DONE
I am really determined to reach my goal on this one everything month. It is definitely my highest priority.
  • Get Things Worked Out With Pharacare And MSP
I did my part on this one. Just waiting for my employer to finish their end. Basically I've taken it as far as I can and things will be worked out in due time. It's no longer impacting me financially and both sides are aware of the process we're going through to get everything sorted.

  • Renew PO Box - DONE
I usually renew for a year at a time since that is the cheapest option but this time we renewed for 6 months because that will take us until the end of September and by then we should have a better idea of when we'll be officially leaving for Australia.
  • Take Mini Vaca With BF To Okanagan - DONE
Can you say amazing? We had the BEST time. Well, mine was better than BF's because I got to take part in the partner program (paid for by BF's boss) so I had two full days of fun activities with the other wives.
  • Plant The Rest Of The Garden
With all of the craziness we had going on this month we did not get around to doing this. It turned out okay though because of the crazy weather. We plan to get this done over this weekend.
  • Organize And Burn Photos Off Computer
Big fail on this one... but it seriously needs to be done!
  • Dig Out Bills Binder And Reorganize
Nope, nadda, not done.
  • Sort Through Large Bag Of Bills And Such In Office Closet
Another important task that I didn't allot time for. Bad Dolly!

  • Have A Hell Of A Great Long Weekend - DONE
It appears I succeeded on all of the more fun goals. Oops.

Friday, April 24, 2009

On Vacation

Just so you don't think I've abandoned you all I'm writing a quick post to say I'm off to Penticton in the morning for the conference. I should be back next Wednesday!

Love and Kisses to all

Monday, April 20, 2009

5 More Days

Well there are 5 more days left until we head off to the Okanagan. I'm pretty excited. Things have turned back to shit at work all because of the same bitchy person and I'm SO ready to get a break from that place.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

54% There

I made a xfer to ING today for $350. It was a tight squeeze with all that I have going on right now but I know I'll be glad later on that I did it. This clears one goal off of my list for the month and brings me to 54% of my goal for the Aussi Fund. Yay!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Taxes Done And Done

Today BF and I had our taxes done. It was the first time we've filed together. I will be getting back $464.59 in the next couple weeks. May is definitely looking good. Three pay days, working the elections ($260) and getting a tax refund of $464.59. I'm going to have to plan out what to do with these funds before I get my hot little hands on them. I'm predicting a big increase in on my savings progress bars (which I need to clean up by the way - I need a blog makeover lol).

I found out today that because our incomes are now combined I won't be getting GST cheques anymore :( BF's response to this was that he felt he was worth the $400/year. He said "Can you believe you get all of this for only $400 annually?" with a big cocky grin. Uh huh..

One interesting bit that caught my interest was BF talking to the tax preparer about RSP contributions. That made me dance with glee inside. Finally, I'm rubbing off on him. :D

We all know I did some job hopping last year and of course it had the tax preparer giggling. Then the most embarrassing thing ever happened. She went to staple all my paperwork together and it broke stapler!!!! You read that right. Broke. The. Staple. She had to go into the back and get a heavy duty stapler. BF said he will never let me live that moment down and is still laughing about it. Whatev!

Anyway I'm glad to have it done. Any other last minute filers out there?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Working The Polls

Today as I was riding the bus to work I spotted an ad while reading the daily paper. I love reading the paper on the way to work. It makes me feel more in touch with whats going on around me. If I get on the bus and there's no papers left I sulk. lol. Anyways.. the ad. :)

It was an ad run by Elections BC. They are looking for election officials for the provincial election on May 12th. I called the toll free number which directed me to the local offices here where I live. I was able to get a position right away. They asked if I had a friend to come along and work with me for fun and so I got my coworker a position too.

They are going to pay me $30 for training on May 2nd from 9-12. Then I'll be paid $230 for working the day of the election from 8am-8pm. I have to wait for the ballots to all be counted before leaving. I'm okay with that.

May is turning out to be a very lucrative month for me. Three pay days and now a little side income. I'm pretty excited to be doing this. I just found out they hired people this way during the last federal election and I remember thinking I would enjoy doing it. I get to meet people all day and see their expressions as they get ready to vote. I think that's awesome. I'll definitely be getting my vote in as well!

I've already let my boss know and he said it wouldn't be a problem. I'm glad that I have a nice boss who lets us enjoy our lives and isn't a tyrant. It would suck to miss out on the opportunity just because my boss said no.

If you live in BC and are interested the toll free number is 1-800-661-8683. Just let them know you want to be an election official and they can give the number and info to a local office. Better do it quick though. Some areas where I live were already full!

Or you can check out www.elections.bc.ca

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Working Holiday Visa

I'm starting to gather more info for the trip to Australia. I am so excited. It's making it all seem more real to me. I used the Australian Visa Wizard and it brought me to the right conclusion as to which visa we should be applying for. BF and I will apply for a Working Holiday Visa. It's perfect for us!

We meet all the requirements for the visa which include:

  • You must be from one of 19 Working Holiday eligible countries and regions.
  • You must be aged 18-30 at the time of applying.
  • You must not have accompanying children (either at the time of applying or when you hold the visa).
  • If you have completed three months specified work in regional Australia on your first Working Holiday visa, you may be eligible to apply for a second Working Holiday visa.
  • You can study for up to four months.
Hotdog! I didn't realize we could study there if we wanted too so thats a fun bonus. We may also have to show proof of having $5000 AUD, health insurance, a medical report stating what healthy youngins we are and possibly a return ticket/proof of cash to buy a ticket out of there. It's going to also cost us a $170CAD fee to process the application.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Anniversary ING!

Today I logged onto my ING to make a xfer and there was a happy little animated card wishing me a happy anniversary. Aww, we've been together two years this month and even though times have been rough lately I still love you best. Muah!!


While I was there I xfered $100 to the Australia Fund. I get paid on Friday and wanted to squash the spending bug by getting it out of my reach and into savings. I guess that was the GST/Climate money so I saved it after all. Yay!

P.S - ING is now down to 1.7% :(


Total Saved For Trip - $2354 (or 47%)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Employment Update

Thing are going fairly well at work. My boss hired a male pharmacist awhile ago and I think the testosterone has helped level things out I bit. I hate to say it but I work some feisty females and I welcome his calm nature. It's like having a big brother around. It's definitely improved the atmosphere for me.

I got approved vacation time for my trip to the Okanagan with BF for his conference later this month. Part of it takes place on the weekend so I only had to take 4 days off work. One of those days is a recover day for both of us. A lot of people at work have been taking vacations lately and I'm ready for mine!

Our store is now making employees go online to take care of their scheduling needs. I checked it out last night. I logged on and tried different things. I wanted to practice like my boss suggested but nothing seemed to be set up yet. There was one interesting thing though. The only thing updated was my employee "balances" page. It said I had just over $500 is vacation pay available. This is nice to know, because it isn't posted on our pay stubs so I wasn't sure how much I had.

Online I could chose whether it would be a paid vacation or not. I'd rather it be paid so I can take the money and stick it in savings and accrue interest on it over the next six months instead of leaving it to get a big chunk of dough right before leaving. May has three paydays for me. The middle cheque (or as I refer to it "bonus" cheque) would be the one affected by my vacation so I'm feeling good about the timing of it all. I'm going to do some serious saving next month!! :D

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Vancouver Chases Brittany Off The Stage

http://perezhilton.com/2009-04-09-drama-at-britney-spears-concert

Haha, I read this late last night and then saw it on local news this morning. Oh, Brittany you silly bitch, you make me laugh. Way to go Vancouver!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Gst/BC Climate $$$$ Arrived!!

Today I finally received my moolah from the government. $92.25 Gst/Hst and $25 BC Climate Action Tax Credit. This totals $117.25. I would love to be all super pf bloggerific and say that I'm going to apply it to my savings but I'm not sure yet. I haven't bought any new clothes in possible a year or so and I would like something nice to wear to the conference later this month. Another part of me wants to save it for while I'm away at the conference. I think the best this for me right now is to keep it right here on my desk until I decide. That way it wont get lost in my chequing account if you know what I mean.

I have also noticed my foot gets wet when its raining outside so maybe its a sign I need a new pair of shoes, lol.

Challenge Accepted

I recently stumbled on a new blog and started commenting on it. Last night I comment on the blog and then today I see a post that kind of rubs me the wrong way. The post is very rude and judgemental.

Here is their post.

This was my response:
Well, maybe you are not familiar enough with the blog to understand why their goals are set that way. For instance I am moving to Australia for a minimum of one year. I have to have at least $5000 in savings before I can apply for a work visa. I have to apply in June or July. So that goal is a priority for me. I leave in October which gives me the months in between to make up my other priorities for savings. I have a stable job and so does my spouse. My blog doesn't reflect his savings, only my own. All of my money went to debt before January 09 so this money has all been saved in the last three months. Hope that clears the fog a little! :)

Then I reread the post and I thought this guy doesn't really have the right to criticize others by the looks of his progress bars. This "snapshot into his financial soul" shows he's got almost as much saved as he does debt. Hmm... do I really want to take judgement from him? I've already paid my debt off. What I do with my money is pretty much up to me. That's why its personal finance.

Okay, so lets respond since he considers this a duel. *yawn

Progress bars are legit, what's not so legit is the breakdown of some of these bloggers priorities, especially considering they are personal finance bloggers.

Priorities are set by the person with the goals. Their life, their goals. It's a simple as that. It's not for another person to decide what is important to that person at that time in their life. There is more to a blogger than what is shared on the net.

It makes me wonder if their financial priorities are in order. Is it not hypocritical to write about the importance of fundamental financial knowledge, only to have your own website display such a large gap between the necessities (emergency fund) and extras (travel)?

How can you judge a persons financial knowledge like that? How can I be sure you have your priorities in order when you have a large chunk of debt which is most likely costing you more in interest than you are accumulating on your savings. Your savings almost meet the needs of your debt. We are moving to Australia October of this year so that fund is a priority/necessity to me. I have to have $5000 saved before I can apply for a working visa. All other savings are put on hold until that is fully funded. I have a more than stable job and so does BF. If something really catastrophic happened I could always access the Australia fund just as quickly as I could the EFund. The point is to have the required amount saved right away so that I can apply for the visa. Get it? Got it? Good.

Having some kind of emergency fund should be one of the first things we do as we fight to gain our financial freedom.

So how large will your EFund be before you pay off your debt. Being debt free is closer to financial freedom in my eyes. I see you don't break down your savings with your progress bars so its hard to see what is happening with that stored up dough. Different people follow different strategies. I personally would never save up 6 months of EFund with a large amount of debt on my shoulders. Our priorities are different but that's okay. When I had debt my EFund was $1000. Enough to cover anything that came up for me and keep me on track. I'm resourceful person and can find work easily within a few days time. I believe in EFunds, and have helped my friends see the light on this one but it is not my top priority right now. I have stable employment and do not own a car or anything that could break down and need repairs. All of our furniture is second hand and ready to be given back to charity before we leave. If it's broke, we fix it or ditch it. My EFund will be funded before the trip and that's all the matters to me. I will be working in Australia so the $5000 is more like a security blanket for me, I'm not just going to blow the money.

So to all you PF bloggers who have skewed priorities I'm challenging you to a blogging duel. Please explain or justify the logic behind your actions. Am I crazy? (don't answer that)

I don't really care about the priorities of others. I'm more concerned about my own. Maybe you should take note. I feel I explained myself well enough through my comment and now my post. If you don't know the story behind the goals of the person you should probably keep your fingers off the keyboard. I am debt free and living a great life. I am frugal in my everyday practices and I enjoy sharing with my PFB family.

The purpose of my blog is not to preach to others or to gain the ability to judge people. It's about my own thoughts on my finances. If I write a post giving advice its only share what I've learned. PF blogging in my mind is more about the support of the community and learning through others experiences. Maybe you are the one who has your priorities askew.


*Note* This post written while drilling is happening next to my head. Thanks random worker guy! :P


$250 Addition To Australia Fund

I have made another addition to the Austraila Fund. I am now at 45% of my goal.

Dear Landlord - Read Tenancy Act Of BC Stat

It's definitely not the first time my landlord has pissed me off. I don't work until 1pm today and I had a really rough night. I hear BF leave for work and then come back in. He comes upstairs and tells me I should get out of bed and get dressed immediately. Huh?

There's some strange man outside here to fix the gutters that fell down during the bad snow storms here over the holidays. BF says he's going to be climbing a ladder and will be able to see in the house so I should get dressed now if I'm worried about it. Uh... so no shower?

This whole thing made BF 30 minutes late for work which his boss will be okay with if he stays later. As for me... I'm pissed. I'm a stickler for the rules. So I got directly on the phone with the landlords wife. I told her that I could have turned the guy away but that would be silly because the repair needs to be done. Then I told her in the future though I will turn them away if I don't receive at least 24 hours notice. She was surprised her husband never called because he hired this guy days ago.

Hmph! I'm so grumpy and my stomach hurts (symptoms for me of not getting enough sleep). This house is poorly insulated and this guy is SUPER loud out there.

It may sound weird but I don't like strange men roaming around my yard without BF here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dear Government - Give Me My Money

I'm sad. Where's my GST cheque? Oh, and the final Global Climate payment from the BC government? Give it to me dang it!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

April TCOB

For the month of April I want to keep my goals light and airy, just like the weather we're having lately.

1) Take Niece for sleep over with lots of fun activities.

2) Save $700 in Australia Fund

3) Get things worked out with Pharmacare and MSP

4) Renew PO Box

5) Take mini vacation with BF to Okanagan

6) Plant the rest of the garden

7) Organize and burn photos off computer

8) Dig out Bills Binder and reorganize

9) Sort through large bag of bills and such in office closet

10) Have a hell of a great long weekend!

Monday, March 30, 2009

April Is Already Just A Few Days Away

I can't believe we are at April already. I really need to get my ass in gear. This year is passing by much too quickly. I have to start buckling down with my savings and plans for the big year long trip to Australia.

I did something I never do. I went through my online bank statement for March and added up all the money spent on eating out just on my debit card. $200!!!!! I am so pissed at myself. That doesn't include any money paid in cash or anything spent on groceries! Oh my! I have been feeling really disappointed in my weight lately and calculating how much I'm spending on putting junk into my body I can really see where the problem is. I'm just hurting myself, my wallet and my goals by being so reckless!

April will see some financial set backs as I missed four days of work in March due to feeling under the weather. That will affect my cheque in a big way on Friday, which will in turn affect my ability to save. The second financial setback is a little more fun. BF's boss is paying for us to go to a convention in the Okanagan. It's actually in the town that we met picking fruit 4 years ago. I'm very excited but I'll miss some work due to the trip. I think my only cost will be maybe getting a new outfit and shoes for the convention dinners. I also want to have a little extra cash to have some fun and enjoy myself as we have a room at a place across from the beach. This won't hit me in the pocket until May which is luckily a three payday month to help soften the blow.

Last Sunday we planted some seeds indoor to get our garden started for the year. We planted tomatoes, green onions and peppers. On Wednesday the onions had already growing. By Friday we had little tiny tomato plants popping up. Today we saw the first onion push its way out of the soil. It's very exciting! We also put up the bird feeder last weekend and its already very popular! April is going to be a great month to get the yard set up for another successful spring and summer. I miss spending time in the gardens with BF.

Now that Spring is here I need to get outside and lose some pounds. I've surpassed the weight limit I have set in my mind as too far and I feel panicked that if I don't do something now that I'm going to really put it on. I need to start watching what I eat and working out more. I notice now that I feel sluggish and tired all the time. My cardiovascular is horrible and I'm feeling more than chubby :( At least BF has already started to get in shape so I can learn a lot from him.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

March TCOB 2009 - End of the Month Review

  • Hunt Down The Rest Of My T4's - DONE
  • Have Niece Over For Sleep Over Party
  • Organize House With BF - DONE
  • Finish Online Training
  • Save $750 Towards Australia Fund -DONE
  • Host St.Patricks Day Party With Friends - DONE
March was a fairly successful month for me. I was able to accomplish a lot of goals that will get me started on finishing the rest of the year on a high.

Most important was organizing the house. There are still the odd boxes to go through but the presort has all been done and all rooms look tidy and nice. We had a houseful due to the party we hosted this month and BF's friend coming from Quebec so that had us really motivated to do a deep clean. Since then we've been working as a team to keep on top of things. It's relieves a lot of stress for me personally to have a tidy home.

I think I've located all my T4's. I jumped around a lot last year and I this weird feeling I'm missing one. Probably not though. I have to write a statement for one place that paid me as a "casual worker" so I don't get a T4. I also have to check out how much money I made online.

I managed to save $750 this month towards the Australia Fund. I wish it was more but this contribution brought me to a total of 40% of my overall goal which is good. I now have saved $2300 since January and that makes me feel fabulous. I had originally wanted to save an average of $1000 a month but its been a hard task to accomplish.

I did not have my niece over this month. She's been sick on and off. This weekend didn't work for them so we made a commitment for me to take her next Saturday night. I want to take her to a movie and do some Easter projects. Sleep overs are exhausting but I know they mean a lot to her and I love my niece. I spent this last Saturday making dinner for my Grandpa at his house instead.

I haven't thought about my goals for April yet. I already know I'm going to have some financial set backs but I'm also going to have a lot of fun I think. :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday Night Rant

Work sucks as usual. Head tech is away AGAIN and the fill in tech and other reg tech hate each other. Goody for me! This makes every day stressful.

After work I was crossing the crosswalk to catch a bus when all of a sudden a car comes veering straight for me. I walk faster but soon her headlights are like blinding me. She's like three feet away before she stops, probably because I threw my arms up in the air as there was no way I could get out of the way fast enough. I kept going but she apparently stopped to have words with me because I hear:

Bitch in yellow car: "Maybe if you weren't wearing black at night I would have seen you"

Me: "Maybe if you observed crosswalks and people in them you wouldn't almost hit pedestrians."

Bitch in yellow car: "How am I supposed to see people dressed in black at night time? Besides, I was in a hurry."

Me: "The blinking white man that indicates its time for a pedestrian to cross should have tipped you off. You know what? FUCK YOU" (then I gave her the finger)

Bitch in the yellow car: " If I were you I wouldn't do that"

Me: "If you were me would you do this?" (smacked my own ass) "Kiss my ass bitch"

I then walked away. I saw her drive by later but I guess she wasn't into backing up what she said. By no means am I fighter but I really don't appreciate almost being hit and then being told its my fault by some idiot chick.

THEN on the bus my friend Nathaniel called me and so I told him what had happened. All of sudden the bus stops and the bus driver walks all the way to where I was sitting and towers over me.

Bus Dude: "It sounds like you've had a hard night"

Me: "Pretty much"

Bus Dude: " You swear like a long shore sailor. All I can hear is cursing from you. You need to keep it down or you'll have to get off the bus".

I agreed to keep it down and then continued my conversation. I would have told off the bus driver but he drives me home 2-3 times per week so I didn't think that's a good idea. I was kind of mad because the bus was empty except for some teenagers who were cursing louder than me. Whatever, I guess I was talking louder than I thought. Probably because I was so aggravated that I didn't realize my volume levels.

What a day!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Forgotten Money

Today I logged into my Paypal just to see what was up and I found some forgotten funds in there! There was $10 Canadian and $10 USD. I was very excited. I was able to set up a transfer for the USD which ended up being $11 something to my regular banking but I need another $5 to be able to xfer the Canadian funds? Oh well. Once the money hits my bank I'll be sure to set up another xfer to send it happily on its way to my savings. Yay for found money!

Friday, March 20, 2009

40% Of My Goal Reached

I am very happy to report my pay did eventually come through and I jumped on setting up the transaction right away. I now have saved $2000 towards my trip and have reached 40% of the total goal. I'm so excited!

This also brings my total savings for 2009 to $2300!! I've never had that much saved in my entire life and I'm very proud of myself. I have real self control now. I don't ever even think about touching that money. I'm a woman on a mission. A savings mission, lol!

I'm not doing as well for savings as I'd hoped to do by this time of the year but I can't be upset considering the great progress I've made. :)

Prescription Refund

Last week at work I remembered to update my profile at the pharmacy to include my new benefits info. The week before I didn't have my card yet so I had to pay for my RX. Since I was technically covered during that time we could rebill once I received the card. The pharmacist refunded my money once it was resubmitted to our insurance company. I don't pay a dispensing fee since I work at a pharmacy and now benefits pays 100% cost so I was refunded the full amount! Yay for benefits!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tick Tock Tick Tock

I get paid on Friday which is 20 minutes away. I tried logging into my online banking to see if the money is there yet but sadly its not. I'm eager to set up a xfer to my savings right away. I really slacked off with savings during the last two weeks and have only put away $200 of the $750 I planned to save this month. This means I have to put myself on a strict spending watch for the next two weeks. Ouch! I really want to keep up with saving at least a grand a month this year so its time to start becoming more focused on my goals if I want to get out of here by the end of October!

I've Been Feeling Like Poo Poo

All this week I've had a weak stomach and have been feeling exhausted. Today BF looked at me and said "I don't want to go to work anymore, at all". I know how he feels. We both feel overwhelmed with our jobs. We are to the point of packing up and moving away tomorrow.

We are not crazy though. We want to do things right. Even though our minds are already on a walk about in Australia we're not quite ready. We been thinking about the cost of going and its quite extreme when you break it down. We have to consider storage fees, PO box fees, health insurance, and all these little costs that really add to the overall total of taking a year long trip to another country.

Still, its what we both need. BF is starting to doubt his career and I'm still searching myself. We both really need some time off to travel and explore. I'm hoping this trip will help answer a lot of questions we have about the future.

Since I've been ill and BF has had his friend here from out of province we missed Monday thru Wednesday. Today we took a mental health day so we'll only be working tomorrow which is Friday. I'm not sure if I have the flu or if its stress. Either way I'm SO beyond wanting October to be here so we can quit our jobs and move on.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kick Ass Weekend Turned Long Weekend - Part One

You may have noticed that I am BIG into the holidays. Not so much Christmas or New Years. Maybe that will change when I have kids. I prefer the more fun holidays. Halloween is by far my favorite. 2009 saw a big turnout for St.Patricks though.

It started Friday night when BF's friend arrived to stay with us from Quebec. They had a little boys night out eating chicken wings and then off to play pool. I stayed at home to give them some space and to get some prep work done for the party. I made the most delicious chocolate cupcakes paired with the perfect green cream cheese icing.
Saturday was the night of the party I mentioned earlier this month. I decided to do a BYOB potluck. The night started slow as almost everyone was very late which is difficult when its a potluck. Once everyone was there it things started to go really well. BF and friend had made a ton of jello shooters which seemed to turn things up notch. Everyone was required to wear a supplied hat that was also the party favor of the night. Here is a picture of it being sported by none other than famous Vancouver journalist Nathaniel Christopher! Then is a blocked picture of BF hiding from the camera.
Estimated Party Costs
Food - $50
Party Favors - $11 (hats)
Decorations - $6
Liquor - Paid by BF

We also won in the time department. By choosing the items we did for the potluck we freed up a lot of time to be with out guests. Our contributions included 2 beer can chickens, cupcakes, jello shooters, chips and pop. All super easy and fast.



I'll post part two a little later on. I'm still cleaning up the joint and haven't been feeling well lately .

Monday, March 16, 2009

Australia Fund Contribution

I've felt a little bit guilty at my spending over the weekend so tonight I made a $200 xfer from my bank to my Australia savings account. I am now at 29% of my goal. I plan to make another deposit after payday on Friday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Benefits Blunder

Well, I received my benefits card last week. I was pretty excited about it. That reminds me... I have to rebill my last prescription. Anyway.. I was pretty happy to finally have benefits again. Then I saw my pay stub. WTF!>!

I have never in my working life paid more than maybe $15 per cheque for benefits. The deductions on my stub were about $160. I was shocked and immediately angry. Luckily my boss was working with me that day so while we were huddled in the blister area scarfing down some lunch I asked him about it. He told me it seemed really high and that he didn't blame me for being upset as he knows I'm trying to save for the trip. He told me to book all my dental and medical appointments during the next two months and then cancel if I'm not happy and don't get my moneys worth. He told me even if I'm told I have to have them he would deal with it. I like my boss! :)

The next day I was able to talk to payroll who is the nicest lady ever. First I asked her if the deductions looked realistic and she told me because she had to back date my benefits a bit that it would be on my next cheque as well. WHAT!>! She really is a sweet lady so I kept my bubbling anger down and looked her straight in the eye and said "well then I can't afford it". She broke down the amounts as there were four different deductions. Thats where we found the problem. My work takes automatic deductions for MSP. I don't pay MSP right now and BF has paid his way in advance. Anyway, even if I was paying MSP it wouldn't be the top amount because of my income. She apologized and said she forgot I told her that. Whew~~

So next cheque I should be getting a large chunk of that money back. The MSP alone was $96 and then there was another fee that I believe was about $30 that I will get back. Holy toledo's! So the actual extended health and dental is more like $30 a month which I can handle and don't mind paying so BF and I can benefits.

In the future if BF or I get notification to pay MSP I'm just going to pay them directly. I don't need a middle man for that. I'm so glad this worked out because I really didn't want to forgo benefits.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring Forward

I hope everyone remembered to set their clocks forward last night. I saw it on the news before bed but haven't had a chance to update my clocks yet. We didn't have anything pressing this morning to do so I wasn't too concerned. Tomorrow I have to work an earlier shift though so I'd better get on that. :)

Mr and Mrs Clean

BF and I have really been working hard to get the house clean. I've been sorting and scrubbing all weekend. I'm starting to see some serious progress in my zone (upstairs) but I'm wondering how BF is going to get his end done (downstairs). We are hoping to get most of the house done before Thursday as he has a guest coming from Quebec Friday and on Saturday we'll have a houseful to celebrate St Patricks! At least the guest room is in my area of the house so our guest will enjoy a squeeky clean room, lol.

The freak snow storms this weekend have been driving me nuts. It snows heavily for two hours and then thankfully melts away. The flakes are as big as toonies though! I am tired of the weather changes the last few years. Usually we get approximately ten days of snow a year but this year its been hectic. It really makes me worry about the planet. Last years cold spells affected our garden and I'm hoping to avoid that this year. We have decided to start our seedlings soon for our tomatoes and peppers, but those start inside so we should be ok.

Now I'm off to gather some supplies for next weekend. I'm borrowing an air mattress from my mom along with her beer can chicken roaster as I'm doing two for the potluck. I also want to drop off some of my smaller sized clothing at my sisters and pick up some chairs she's giving me. I can't wait for the whole house to be organized it will be so much easier to downsize and figure out what we want to keep in storage before the big move.

Monday, March 2, 2009

March TCOB

My February goals sunk like rocks. This has been a very stressful month for me. I did make two of my goals though. I met and surpassed my goal for my Australia Fund. I also handed in all my benefit papers two weeks ago and should be getting coverage soon.

BF and I are on a roll getting the whole house clean and organized. It's a lot of work. I have boxes that have been moved around and stored for years completely untouched. Going through it all is so exhausting and embarrassing!! BF keeps finding old pictures of me that are not very flattering. Think band class group photos and such.

I have learned recently that I will need to have to have a certified bank statement proving I have $5000 when I apply for my work visa in June.. or July(?) don't remember. So I really have to focus all of my savings towards that goal right now until I hit that mark. Then I can concentrate on all of my other PF goals.

So here are my March goals:

Host St.Patricks Day Party With Friends - I want to have a potluck dinner with some old friends and play some drinking games.

Save $750 Towards Australia Fund - This will bring me to 40% of my goal!

Finish Online Training - BORING

Organize House With BF - Ugh, but it has to be done. :(

Have Niece Over For Sleep Over Party - Usually includes a trip to the "big movies" (theater) and dinner out with Auntie and Uncle. The rest of the weekend is spent hanging around the house. These weekends are fun but tiring :)

Hunt Down The Rest Of My T4's - This is so annoying! You have my address so send it to me jerks!

Friday, February 27, 2009

2.3% ?!?!!

Have I been sleeping at the wheel? When did my ING Direct interest rate go down to 2.3% on my savings accounts? Boooooooooooooo!!!! Dolly no likey!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Freak Snow Storms

WTF?! I go to work.. the weather is fine. I come out and its snowing. Now there's got to be at least a foot. This is ludicrous! I live on Vancouver Island and this is not right!

Brrr

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ever Want To Punch Somebody In The Face?

So I've decided not to call the other tech bitchy tech anymore because we sort of bonded over the last few weeks. Today before work I saw her in the food court and she was so supportive towards me. Then I headed into the dispensary to find out I was going to be blister packing all day so that I could have some space. Thank god! I had two really good talks with head tech and my pharmacist buddy while I was back there. I really think that things have the possibility to turn around if we all try together to keep things positive.

After break I came back to see the mother and grandmother of the tech whom I'm filling in for on mat leave waiting for their prescription. Let me tell you... These women are fucking cows! Not the grandmother, but the mat leave tech and her mom. Holy crap! Every time I have to deal with mat leave techs mom she is super rude to me. I could hear her complaining very loudly as soon as I came in that they should have called ahead because we're all slow and stupid since her daughters not there right now. See what I mean? So anyway, I went to try and help them but before I could she dismissed me saying she would come back when somebody who knew what they were doing was there. I tried to keep my cool and help her but she was being so rude and saying inappropriate things so I let the pharmacist take over and walked away.

Twenty minutes later mat leave tech comes storming in and goes straight to a terminal to see what was going on with her grandmothers rx. I hate that she comes back there when she's not working. I don't think its right at all. The pharmacist pulled me aside and said maybe I should talk to her about it because her mother is always so rude to me. Bad idea.

She blew up on me saying that I should expect difficult customers and that I should learn that its part of my job. I was pissed. I was very calm and told her that I feel like maybe the reason her mom treats me that way is because I'm the fill in for her. I know that this family is obsessed with mat leave tech and think she's perfect. GAG!! She just kept fighting with me. I walked away and she was yelling at me about all this stuff that was irrelevant. So I calmly let her know that I approached her so to try to smooth over whatever issue there is her mom has with me and that I know how to do my job and that I am more than aware of how to handle myself. She just kept beeking off and I really just wanted to walk up and punch her in the face. When she left everyone couldn't believe it, well they could. We all agreed that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree with this family. I'm not going to type out everything that she said to me because honestly it was ridiculous and showed that she wasn't even listening to me. She came in prepared to fight with me. *sigh* Seriously, bitch needs to get a life!!


In other news.... today they went to drain the liquid around my grandfathers lungs and it turned out that most of it had already dispersed thanks to some meds he's on. They also concluded that the reason his lung collapsed was because of the enlarged lymph nodes. Apparently once this is fixed that lung should be fine. The bad part is that they are pretty sure the spot on the lung is cancerous but they need to do some more testing. If so they will get him started on some meds to shrink the nodes and prepare him for radiation treatment. They have been trying to squeeze him in all over the place with specialists and doctors so we feel pretty lucky. I heard he was pretty tired looking today and that he refuses any sort of entertainment. He won't accept a tv, phone, dvd player, games.. nothing. He just wants people to come up and keep him company. I plan to go there on Saturday and Sunday to cheer him up.


Thank you everyone for your supportive comments lately. I really missed you all. Blogging can be so therapeutic!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Catching Up

So I guess I should let you guys know whats been keeping me so down and out lately.

Work has been hard. With the lead tech away with knee surgery for almost a month things were very challenging. The combination of bitchy tech and newbie techs was enough to wear me thin. One day there was so much fighting I was crying twenty minutes into my shift. The sad part is that I wasn't even the one that was fighting. I flipped out and called my boss. Every single person has complained lately about the working conditions, as we are dealing with some unfriendly personalities in the dispensary.

Last week lead tech came back, but she's on a back to work program. Things are slowly getting better but I'm still on the edge. I'm usually a very tolerant person but I have my limits. All of the turmoil has really gotten to me. It doesn't take a lot to set me off now. I'm frustrated because I feel totally passed over for a lot of really valuable training because there is always some type of chaos going on. I'm also a person who believes work should never cause you stress of this volume.

Today I've cried a lot.

My grandfather has not been doing well the past few weeks. I learned he had a breathing problem the last time I was over there for dinner. He showed me that he was using an inhaler and I was livid to find out the doctor was giving him the wrong directions on how to use it!! My poor grandfather has whistled breathing and his damn doctor doesn't know how to use a Symbicort turbuhaler ?!?

On Saturday we went there to do some insurance paperwork with him and I noticed he could barely stand up. He told me he couldn't walk from the living room to the bathroom and back without needing to sit down for awhile and catch his breath. I was heartbroken. He's mood was sober and he was making negative comments towards the future and his health. I've never heard him talk that way ever. Last year he beat prostate cancer, lost his wife and had his home burn down and yet he still kept a positive attitude. At this point he knew he had a spot on his lung from an xray but couldn't get a CAT scan booked until March 5th. I know this had him very worried.

Sunday I got a call that he was in the hospital. I wanted to go and see him right away. He looked better when I saw him. He had spent the night there and had some oxygen and they had been using a nebulizer with him that morning. His mood was better and he made sure to tease me as always when I was there. They did a CAT scan while I was there but did not give any results until today.

Today I called my mom from work and found out they had learned from the CAT scan that my grandfather has a spot on his lung, a collapsed lung, liquid surrounding his lungs and I believe they said two swollen lymph nodes. I asked my mother if the conversation had been positive or not and apparently the doctor just kept saying my grandfather was in the best place he could be and that they were going to do everything they could for him. What the F does that mean? Apparently its not as bad as it sounds as everything was caught early and is treatable. It's just a lot of testing and waiting right now which is getting me super worked up emotionally.

I have to say that my grandfather is in amazing shape for his age. He really takes care of himself and he's definitely "all there" if you know what I mean. He said to me on Sunday that he figures once they get this problem fixed he's got at least another 10 years before he gets "old old". I really love him. He's my favorite person in the whole world and everyone knows it. I know he's tough and he's determined so I'm trying to keep focused on that. I heard him tell the nurses twice that he had a huge family that would be up there bugging them all the time and getting in the way. That made me feel really good, that he knows that.

It's not all gloom and doom though. I have had some wonderful moments over the last few weeks. BF and I have started planning out how we want to start going through the house scaling down now instead of later for the trip. We've also been trying to eat healthier and drink more water. BF has been working out too! Dolly likes this :)~

We celebrated our anniversary with some take out and a movie. The following week we went to a Bistro on the water for Valentines Day. We had a really nice walk on the waterfront afterwards. BF definitely did good this year.

Friday night we let loose and went out for some wings and drinks with friends. I finally got to meet my really good friends BF of the last few months. I was relieved that he seemed really great. She was totally herself around him and he has the same type of humor as us so it was fun. We got a little tipsy, OK maybe a lot tipsy, and made a detour for deep fried chocolate bars topped with ice cream and whipping cream. Delicious!

So now you are all caught up. Whew!

Two Australia Fund Contributions

Today I set up a transfer for $424 from my regular banking to my savings with ING. I also transfered another $225 on the 16th. This brings me to a total of $1250 which is 25% of my goal. I'm so excited! I've decided to focus my savings towards the trip for now because I have to prove I have $5000 saved before I can get my work visa in the summer. Yay!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Update

I can't believe I haven't blogged in so long. There have been a few days where I have logged in and wanted to write but just didn't have the mindset to do it. I have been reading a few blogs though to keep in touch. I was too lazy to log in and comment though. I don't know what's up my butt lately but there has definitely been a lot of crap going on. Work, family, and my own crazy self have been keeping me plenty busy and admittedly quite stressed.

I realize now that blogging regularly and being reminded of my goals is the only way to stay on track. I'm back people, sorry bout that!